Monday 28 July 2014

Sometimes, you just have one of those days. Or weeks.

Last week's progress post was full of enthusiasm and bright plans, with intentions of putting something together for the Dark Sphere "Dakka on Bakka" tournament. That something was a Firestorm Redoubt. I am now going to share with you some wisdom that I have gained in the past week.

This is what the Redoubt looked like as of earlier this evening. I had about half assembled it on Sunday night, when I realised something was wrong and asked Sim for advice. She pointed out that I'd totally stuffed the assembly and I should rip it apart now to have any hope of salvaging it. Pulling apart most of a day's work is pretty sad, I can tell you.

My darling wife is now in the midst of putting right my disastrous mistakes, and my first fortification should be ready to take the field by the tournament, though I suspect it will not be fully painted. It's a while since I've taken the field without a fully painted army, but it will help motivate me to get the blasted thing finished.

Also, hair bands are apparently awesome at holding glued bits together. The main lesson, though, is that the kit is incredibly precise about what bit needs to be where. Don't go "eh, that'll do" on one bit lining up - it will royally stuff you up three steps down the line!

How I cheer myself up

The most common way I get myself out of a bit of a mood is to go read other people's blogs. You can see which ones I commonly follow and read down the right of the screen. Other people's hobby is kind of handy.

It can sometimes also help to consider retail therapy. Of course, if you are feeling down about how little painting you've gotten done out of your backlog, or how little money you have this will not help. There are two teensy little things which are trying to lure my money out of my wallet right now.

First, there's "Operation: Icestorm", a limited edition starter set for Infinity. Regular readers of my blog will recall I had my own little "Infinity Week" some time ago. This has just gone up for pre-order around the world.

The other temptation is the Kickstarter for Infamy: Welcome to the Big Smoke, which is another one of these British Indie chaps. It is a little pricey, but the miniatures do look gorgeous.

Finally, if all else fails, take a nice break. In this case, I met up with some of my family in Colchester and went around Colchester Castle. It's now a museum, and had a ton of interesting and thought provoking stuff. It was good to get away from the modelling a bit, although for me this happened before my Firestorm Redoubt related disasters.

Other Honourable Mentions

I also find writing army lists, reading books (gaming related or otherwise) and writing blog posts as good breaks from the painting and modelling side of the hobby. Are there any other common ways people have of cheering themselves up after a hobby related disaster or similar? Have I missed anything big? Or do you have an odd way of cheering up you don't think anyone else does?

Thursday 24 July 2014

Battle Report, Slow Grow League Week 5: 750 pts vs Dark Eldar

Week 5 of the Slow Grow League rolls around, and who do I draw to play? My darling wife. Her 750 list consists of a Succubus, a small Wych squad, a small Kabalite warrior squad, a Razorwing Jetfighter, and Ghazghkull Thraka.

7th Edition. Unbound craziness.

This isn't a particularly broken list, she's just learning the game and taking cool stuff.

We played with the new tactical cards. She was using the Ork ones, while I was using the standard set. We got the mission where the number of cards you have decreases as the game goes on - your best hope of victory is grabbing a lot of objectives early on.

The Xenos forces go first, with Ghazghkull making for an objective with his backing band, Da Ammo Runtz, providing his theme music.

The Wyches sprint across the field, heading for another objective.

I roll terribly for moving through the difficult ground around the ruins, and the squads edge forward.

Of course the Razorwing shows up straight away. With an excited scream of "SPACESHIP!!!"...

Gaz finds a nice objective to sit on.

While the Razorwing turns the Chimera to mush.

My conscripts turn up successfully with an "Outflank" from my Warlord trait, and proceed to sit behind Gazza a bit nervously...

And then demonstrate to the Kabalite Warriors in the ruin the principle that if you fire enough terrible shots down range, eventually, enough will hit - wiping out the Kabalites!

The rest of the army advance, cautiously skirting Gaz, but trying not to get too close to the Wyches in the ruin.

Sim decides to send Gazza onwards towards another objective on her cards.

While the Wyches head back to murder some conscripts to death.

The Razorwing picks its target, obliterating the command squad!

And not only that, causing enough collateral damage that the infantry squad with the psyker flee, only just falling short of the board edge.

The conscripts try and taunt the slow moving Ghazghkul into charging them, shooting him repeatedly in the back until he's down to only one wound (the rest of the army helped a bit too)...

The infantry squad redeemed themselves at least a little by rallying.

The veterans ran on towards an objective.

And a brutal fight broke out between the Wyches and the conscripts, despite the Grav Wave generator the conscripts were holding. With the conscripts having "Objective Secured", Sim was trying to slaughter them off the objective.

Meanwhile, Gazza decided to punch a psyker to death.

Sim started to realise that this "Priest" chap I'd been talking about meant that my men didn't run away any more. We had to look up some rules as to what happens on the second and onwards rounds of combat, because she'd never had to do one of those against Guard before!

(The Priest refused a challenge and hid at the back like a coward, but oddly enough, that doesn't remove Fearless.)

The Veterans discovered the objective in the Manufactorum was a Skyfire Nexus. At this point, Sim decided them to "show them her nail art" in a charming gesture from Oz, which I understand is a friendly gesture used towards wargaming models who are vexing her.

Here is a prettier picture without the hands in shot.

It took Gazza a little while to punch all the Guardsmen to death directly, as he wasn't allowed to run them down.

The Veterans made for gaining Linebreaker.

While the other infantry squad discovered another booby-trapped objective (along with the one in the wood) to gain me a victory point for recon.

The Razorwing decided to brave the Skyfire Nexus and try and deal with the Leman Russ.

The combination of Fearless and Sim's appalling luck with the dice mean that the conscripts weren't quite managing to win as such, but they were holding the Wyches and Succubus up nicely!

The infantry squad grabbed the bunker to grab another late victory point.

After the Commissar Lord was saved from being shot in the back by Gaz (clearly repaying the favour from the conscripts earlier) by a brave soldier pushing him out of the way, he decided to put a few more bodies between him and the angry Ork with a cannon as a hand gun.

When you play your wife, sometimes tactics that might not be OK in a tournament setting are let slide. The Razorwing comes in close for another shot at the Leman Russ.

Just to make it clear quite how balanced the Razorwing is...

The veterans take a couple of casualties, but hold!

The Dark Eldar are still trying to murder the conscripts, but there was a single Dark Eldar turn when they had been pushed back far enough that the Dark Eldar could claim the objective but the conscripts were too far away, gaining an extra victory point for the Dark Eldar.

Sim runs a "dice shaming" policy, and puts any dice that fails her back in the box. This is the state of her dice boxes by the end of the game. She was really suffering absolutely abysmal luck.

At the end of turn five, it was all over. The game ended 7 - 6 in the Xenos' favour - their early lead clawed back by the Guard making a late run on objectives, but not quite enough to bring it back for me. Going into Week 6, I only have one victory in 7th edition, and none in the league.

I like to think that this combat is probably still going on in the universe...

Monday 21 July 2014

A miraculous miracle, and a daemonic goal

I struggled through the heat to my painting desk this weekend to find a miraculous sight. My Bloodletter's base had cured itself! It turns out I'd layered the crackle paint on so thick it had taken about a week to dry!

I have also been rightly shamed and criticised by a good friend over a present I bought them years ago, with the intention of assembling and painting it for them as well, remains sitting in a box, un-started. I am now absolutely resolved to get this sorted by Christmas - this is doubly challenging, as it is the Forge World Keeper of Secrets, which is not a small job!

Still super pleased with that base
So, I took a serious look at what I need to do to make this happen. At the time of discussion, before the Bloodletter got finished, I had ten projects in progress, which is craziness and madness. I also had too many little niggly projects in the "not started" queue. Aaaand I had the Hobby Progress August challenge to get done.

So, I set myself the following things so my dear and lovely friend could see where her Daemon is in the queue:

In progress moved to done: 10
Start quick wins from the "to do" pile: 10
Guard Painting Commitment Started: 1
Guard Painting Commitment Finished: 1

I've now added this tracker to my "in progress" page so its all up on the net to shame me into action. And to motivate me further, I'm putting my allowance where my mouth is. If Ms Stabby is not painted by Christmas, I'm going to pay someone to do it - I'm putting money aside each month to cover it. Of course, I'm going to breeze this deadline with no problem and then I'll have put aside a nice little present for myself.

As a note, here's how I finally finished off the Bloodletter. Masking tape carefully protecting him while I "Purity Seal"ed the base so it stays where it is now. The gift wrapped blood letter just looked so silly I had to snap something of him.

That wasn't the only progress I made at the weekend. The Gunnarsen brothers, violent abhuman mercenaries, were also fully assembled.

And, just to make things interesting, I've signed up for a tournament at Dark Sphere on the first weekend of August ("Dakka on Bakka"), and I want to try and add a special something for then (my August commitment, in fact). Its likely I've only got half of the weekend between then and now available! Time to get busy...

Thursday 17 July 2014

Battle Report, Slow Grow League Week 4: 750 pts vs Grey Knights

Once more, I found myself facing ClauseIV1918, but this time in the first Slow Grow League game at 750 points. His list had expanded to a second Chimera and a Dreadknight with an unfortunate teleportation habit. His Dreadnought had been given a refit to two sets of auto-cannons.

Meanwhile, I'd widened my army list with the addition of a Leman Russ Battle Tank, a Primaris Psyker, and a Priest. I chose Telekinesis for the psyker, and got the machine curse power. The mission was "Big Guns Never Tire", so I had to be careful for my Leman Russ.

He took the first turn and his Dreadknight used its teleport to get to behind the ruins in the middle of the board.

After the last battle where he'd suffered from the command squad melta guns, the Chimera got attention from pretty much all his long ranged guns.

The infantry then advanced up the field, spreading out to protect the characters.

The telekinesis didn't just give all the weapons Gets Hot but managed to cause a penetrating hit with the Haywire and got "Weapon Destroyed". It was a good first round.

The Dreadnought also took a light knock from a lucky shot.

The Dreadknight then decided to come through the conscripts to get to the crunchy Leman Russ behind them.

Much to his surprise, they didn't flee. The command squad skirted that fight to head for the enemy Chimera.

Meanwhile, the Grey Knights opened up on the Lord Commissar's squad, hoping to bring down the Warlord.

Meanwhile the Veterans advanced across the field, hoping to cause a killer blow to the Dreadknight, still stuck carving through the conscripts.

The command squad joined with the Lord Commissar to try and bring down the second Inquisitor - her Chimera wrecked by the melta guns.

The Veterans charged into the Dreadknight, but sadly, didn't quite cause enough damage to bring it down.

Meanwhile, the Lord Commissar and the command squad had a disagreement with the Inquisitor over methods of serving the Emperor.

The Dreadknight focussed its attacks on the Veterans until they fled.

And by this point, the Priest and the Psyker were running out of conscripts.

The fight between the Inquisitor and the Lord Commissar finally boiled down to a duel between the two of them.

Finally, a battle cannon shell forced Coteaz out of the wrecked remains of his Chimera.

And with a single wound left, the Lord Commissar dispatched the Inquisitor.

But sadly, the Dreadnought gave up on shooting the Leman Russ and decided to kick it to death instead.

While the Dreadknight finally rid itself of its troublesome Priest.

The surviving Veteran made a valiant attempt to bring down the Dreadknight, now down to its last wound, but it was to no avail.

ClauseIV1918 had some more terrible luck, though I don't recall precisely what was so funny that made me take a photo of his dice coming up all ones while trying hard not to laugh too hard...

The Dreadknight went for a wander, looking for who was left...

And found the Lord Commissar 'holding the objective'...

Sadly, at this point, the Lord Commissar's luck ran out, and my last model on the table died...

Post Match Analysis

That was much closer than the games I've had before. The Priest is amazing, and I want more of them! I think I was right in that I was lacking offensive firepower - and I don't think I've quite caught up yet. I'd been torn between a Manticore and the Leman Russ, but think the MBT was the right choice - it soaked up so much fire, while in the same time period, the Manticore would have been wrecked. I'm now trying to work out what to add for the 1,000 point level - though I have two more games to help me figure it out.